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Pilczuk Pipes

There is no perfect musical instrument. Pros, directors, designers, accousticians, students, and manufacturers all agree. There simply is no perfect instrument. It certainly is true because we all constantly experience those imperfections and it has been that way for generations. But why? Why does it have to be that way? Why, if a musical instrument is properly designed, must it be out of tune and difficult to control in most registers?


Common sense dictates that if something is designed perfectly, it should be perfect, or close to it. Every designer that existed knew of the serious shortcomings of the musical instrument but, try as they might, they could not understand why these deficiencies persisted, nor could they design a horn that eliminated them. Perfect pitch was out of the question and even a satisfactorily consistent pitch eluded them. Ultimately they conceded and started making instruments that were compromises. Horns that were acoustically incorrect and had to be lipped or triggered into playing in tune. But they did the best they could and built them the best way they knew how.

Rich Ita Brass Instrument Workshop, Bach, Schilke, Yamaha, Benge, CarolBrass, Blackburn, trumpets, tubas, flugelhorns, piccolo trumpets, french horns, cornets, brass instrument repair, Pilzcuk leadpipe
Rich Ita Brass Instrument Workshop, Bach, Schilke, Yamaha, Benge, CarolBrass, Blackburn, trumpets, tubas, flugelhorns, piccolo trumpets, french horns, cornets, brass instrument repair
This was over three centuries ago and it hasn't changed much today. Horns today are still the same basic horns with the same basic compromises. Some designs are slightly better while some are slightly worse. Given enough wind, embouchure, and experience you can hammer out the notes in most registers to make them sound reasonably acceptable. Not an easy task really. Are you in control or is the horn? Shouldn't you be able to concentrate on your music and style instead of compensating for the horn? It is quite an archaic way to make good music but entirely necessary until now. The old masters did the best they could but it was not good enough for Gene Pilczuk.
In 1999, I purchased the patent, tools, and stock of Pilczuk Accusonic Leadpipes from Richard Pilczuk, the son of creator Gene Pilczuk, now deceased. Both men have reputations for their excellent craftsmanship and inventive intelligence. It is my privilege to continue to produce and offer this unique device for the improvement of any brass instrument.We are currently offering a full range of pipes for high brass and will gradually expand to the production of pipes for low brass.

Not knowing what weapons to use in fighting these intonation barriers and other related problems, Mr. Pilczuk decided that he had to return to the basics. Everyone had already tried "new" leadpipes, triggers, additional valves, "new improved" mouthpieces, anything at all to help musicians play "in tune" - gimmicks, gadgets, and other ideas that were simply attempts at patching up a major design flaw in the instrument. They only succeeded in complicating the horn further and wasted the time and money of most musicians. Mr. Pilczuk had worked on these elusive problems for forty years and he knew that a major surgical problem couldn't be cured with a quick fix band aid.

Pilczuk felt the solutions rested somewhere with the basic instrument design. Working in his garage, or laboratory, he found the answer. While testing instrument design, most theories and functional systems checked out to his satisfaction with one glaring exception - the leadpipe. It just did not make any sense. His experiments and research told him that there was no organization, consistency, absolute control, or definition in a tapered leadpipe. The nodal and anti nodal patterns were not clear. There were only vague response waves, chopped and crowded on one end, overlapped in the middle, and stretched out on the other end. Waves seemed to travel about the pipe at leisure with no accuracy, no definition, and seemingly no purpose.

The tapered leadpipes appeared to be ambiguous variables, built into musical instruments that needed absolutes. The taper was not compatible with sound instrument design and acoustics, and Mr. Pilczuk found it to be the most harmful design in the entire instrument. It was the foundation of the problems that made compromises necessary. Pilczuk reasoned that if he could somehow eliminate the taper in the pipe, he could eliminate the problems that have plagued musicians for centuries. But how?

Of course it was not going to be easy, but Mr. Pilczuk knew that he could achieve absolute nodal and anti nodal control in a cylindrical tube with no taper. So he tried these tubes, all sizes, hundreds of them. Scales could be played but you wouldn't recognize them. Cylindrical tubes of one size or another just would not work. He found that in order for the mouthpipe to perform even marginally, one end needed to be small and the other end had to be larger. Of course the only way to connect the two was to make a taper. How else could it be done? It seemed as though he was stuck with a taper no matter what he tried. However, perseverance prevailed and after years of experimenting in the laboratory he made a significant breakthrough.

Mr. Pilczuk made a mouthpipe in a few crude but controllable cylindrical steps. It worked very well but it wasn't exactly right. He then made each cylinder a dimensional and mathematical equivalent of each note in the chromatic scale and spaced all of the cylinders, or notes, out on one solid pipe. Thus, he had one integral pipe hydraulically formed into thirteen precise, chromatically stepped chambers - one for each note in the chromatic scale. The entire scale was formed into the mouthpipe. The mouthpipe is where the notes are born, where they are in their infancy, and where they begin to mature. It is the most crucial part of the instrument.

On the Accusonic mouthpipe you can name the exact note each chamber represents. Each note seeks its own level, or mathematically matched chamber, and is then formed and enhanced by the exact chromatic dimensions of that chamber and also by sympathetic sound. The notes are allowed to mature precisely in their respective chambers and then they are able to travel through the balance of the horn without corrections because they have already developed correctly in the Accusonic leadpipe. Mr. Pilczuk further isolated and intensified each note within its own chamber through a patented design and secret manufacturing process which deadens each chamber only at the end of its travel.

The nodal and anti nodal patterns of the Accusonic are exact and pure. They can be pinpointed with extreme accuracy and are always in the same precise location. They are perfectly compatible with the nodal patterns of the rest of the instrument. The chromatic design is different for each horn. For example, on a B-Flat trumpet the small end of the Accusonic starts at B-Flat and the scale continues through the pipe until it reaches B Flat one octave lower on the large end. On a C trumpet it starts at C on the small end and stops at C one octave lower on the large end, etc. This concept is simply beautiful. Ironically, the solutions to such complex problems rested with a simple design, elementary mathematics, acoustics and common sense. Just the basics, and yet the results are impeccable.

Regardless of the trumpet's origin, you will reap the following benefits when your horn is properly fitted with the Pilczuk Accusonic mouthpipe. Individual horns are different and these benefits will vary with each horn but only in small degrees.

1. You will achieve the most precise, crystal clear intonation ever acquired in all registers. Many more partials or overtones emerge. All notes from the lowest to the highest are beautiful and complete because more of the note from the sound spectrum has been formed in each chromatic chamber.

2. No triggering is necessary to play in tune with almost one hundred percent of the musicians that are now using the Accusonic. Only on a few rare occasions is triggering necessary, and only then due to past compensating habits of the individual. With time they will lose that habit.

3. You will have absolute centering and complete control while retaining the utmost flexibility. You will feel the horn working for you, not against you.

4. Total overall efficiency in all registers will be felt immediately, giving you the purest, easiest, and most immediate response you've ever encountered. Because of the leadpipe’s efficiency, you will also have more endurance for the most demanding situations.

5. You will get maximum projection with minimal effort. You will be able to reach high and low notes you've never been able to reach before, and you will reach them with accuracy and relaxed ease.

6. You will be able to focus all of your concentration on your musical performance, not on your compensating abilities.

7. Any compensating devices installed on your horn can be removed.

8. Resistance and timbre choices to suit your needs.

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